Brain tumor is a collection of mass or abnormal cells inside the brain. Skull, being the rigid place, create problems due to restricted space. Generally, Adults are more likely to suffer from the Brain Tumor problem, but the children having the high amount of radiation at the head may have the problem of Brain Tumor.
Generally, Brain Tumor of two kinds:-
- Malignant Brain Tumor which is cancerous in nature
- Benign Brain Tumor Which is non-cancerous
If this Tumor spread inside the skull, this may cause brain damage which can be life-threatening.
Brain Tumor can be categorized as primary & Secondary Brain Tumor. Primary Brain Tumor originates in the brain only which can be benign and malignant as well. Secondary Brain Tumor is also known as Metastatic Brain Tumor which occurs when cancer spread to the brain from another body parts such as lung, breast, kidney & skin cancer.
What are the symptoms of a Brain Tumor?
Symptoms and signs of Brain Tumor will vary from person to person & even the area involved. Symptoms which need to be analyzed before going through the treatment:
- Severe Headaches which become worsen in the morning and may occur while you are sleeping
- Seizures, muscle jerking or twitching
- Changes in Speech, hearing & vision
- Balance problem and problems while walking
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
- Memory problems
- Personality changes
- Inability to Concentrate
- Weakness in one part of the body
- Nausea & vomiting
- Mood swings, confusion
- Difficulty in Writing, reading, swallowing
- Uncontrollable Moments
- Eye Problems such as drooping eyelids and unequal pupils.
- Muscle weakness
- Nipple discharge or galactorrhea
- Lack of menstruation in Women
- Enlargement of the hands and feet
- Sensitivity to heat or cold.
Types of Brain Tumors:-
- Acoustic neuroma
- Brain metastases
- Choroid plexus carcinoma
- Embryonal tumors
- Pediatric brain tumors
- Pituitary tumors
These are generally Primary Brain Tumors as they build inside the brain only. Secondary Brain Tumors spread from the other body parts such as lung, breast, skin etc.
Diagnosis of Brain Tumor:-
First of all, a doctor will ask for the symptoms and will ask about the medical & family history. Some of the diagnostics measurements are given below which can be performed jointly or step by step depending upon the severity of the brain tumor.
- Neurological Test:- During this physical examination, your doctor may check for the vision, hearing, balancing, coordination, sweeping in eyes, muscle strength etc.
- CT Scan:An X-ray machine linked with the Computer takes detailed images of the head. One may be injected the contrast material to see the abnormality easily.
- MRI: Patient is induced with the large machine with strong magnet through which a computer is attached which sent the images to the computer screen. To have a proper analysis, the special dye (contrast material) is injected into a blood vessel in your arm or hand which helps to show the difference in the brain tissue.
- Angiogram or MRA: Dye is injected into the bloodstream which helps to get an image of Tumor or abnormal blood vessels on X-Ray.
- Spinal Tap:Doctor may use a sample of cerebrospinal fluid which can be removed by using a long, thin needle from the lower part of the spinal column. The process takes almost 30 minutes and performed under local anesthesia. A patient will be advised to lie on back for several hours to avoid a headache. The fluid will be checked in the laboratory to find cancer or Tumor problems.
- Biopsy: Removal of tissue and analyzing the same is called Biopsy. The pathologist will use a microscope to check for the abnormal cells. The biopsy will help to find out cancer, tissue changes & tumor cells. The biopsy can be done at the time of the surgical treatment or may be performed earlier which is called Stereotactic biopsy. A general anesthesia is given, the rigid head frame is worn, the surgeon makes a small incision and drills a small hole in the skull. With the help of MRI & CT Scan, the surgeon will get to know the location of the tutor which can be withdrawn by using a needle.
Causes and Risk factors of Brain Tumor:-
There is no specific reason available causing Brain Tumor. The researcher has found the various risk factors which are:-
- Family History:- As per the research, only 5-10% people have the genetically inherited cancer. Although the cause is still very rare, your doctor may recommend a genetic counsellor for you.
- Age: Some tutor increase with the increase of age.
- Race: Caucasians are more likely to have meningiomas kind of a brain tumor which are mostly found in African American People.
- Chemical Exposure: Certain chemicals in the environment can increase the risk of brain cancer.
- Radiation: People who are exposed to ionizing radiation may have the increased risk of brain tumors. The exposure may include the high radiation cancer therapies, nuclear fallout etc.
Treatment of Brain Tumor:-
Treatment of brain tumor depends on the various factor such as Type, size & location of the tumor and general health of the patient. Below mentioned are the possible treatment to cure the Brain Tumor which can be offered by the doctor after analyzing the whole factors:-
- Surgery: This is usually the first solution to treat the Brain Tumor. If the tumor is small, it is comparatively easy to detach from the brain whereas in other cases, tumors cant be separated from the surrounding tissue. They are attached to the sensitive area which makes the surgery risky. In that case, the doctor will remove the tumor as much as is possible. Sometime, surgical treatment may cause infection, bleeding, vision loss etc. The risk can be controlled or reduced through the Brain Tumor Surgeon Only.
- Radiation Therapy: High energy beams are used to kill the tumor cells. External Beam radiation is used on the brain where the tumor is located or can be applied to the entire brain (Whole Brain Radiation). Whole brain radiation is used to treat cancer which spread to the brain from the other parts of the body. Radiation therapy may have some side-effects such as fatigue, headaches, memory loss & scalp irritation.
- Radiosurgery: Stereotactic radiosurgery is not a form of surgery as it used multiple Beams of radiation to give a highly focused form of radiation treatment. Each beam is not powerful, but the place where all beams meet helps to kill the brain tumor cells with the high dose of radiation. Various techniques involved in Radio Surgery are Gamma Knife, Linear Accelerator etc. It is done with one treatment and patient can go home the same day.
- Chemotherapy: Drugs in the form of injection and pills are used. The amount of the pill and liquid will depend on the type of cancer. Chemotherapy has some amount of side-effects as well such as nausea, vomiting, hair loss etc.
- Targeted Drug Therapy: It focuses on the abnormalities present within the cancer cells. It causes the cells to die after blocking the abnormalities.
After Treatment Rehabilitation:-
Brain Tumor develops in the part of the brain so it may control the various human activities such as vision, thinking, speaking, walking, controlling etc. So Your doctor may prescribe some of the therapy treatments such as:-
- Physical Therapy to regain muscle strength
- Occupational Therapy helps to get back to the normal routine activities.
- Speech Therapy relives the speech difficulties
- Special Tuitions for the kids to cope them up with the learning and memorizing skills.
Other Complementary treatments include acupuncture, Exercise, Meditation, Music Therapy, Relaxation Exercises etc.If you or your closed one find the symptoms of the Brain Tumor, do not neglect the problem. Contacting your nearest Brain Tumor Surgeon in Gurgaon is the best way to cure the severe brain problems.